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The rains have gone and we are swimming through sultry days. Hot, still air vibrates with the high-tension shrill of giant cicadas. But by all accounts this is still the minor phase of heat, the prelude to a major swelter still to come. Mornings are fresh and...

The table is set with sake and just a small dish of shio uni (salted sea urchin). The small serving of crismson umami rich paste with an equally opulent price tag must be savored slowly, each morsel rolled around on the tongue until it melts away. ...

The craftsman and the cook harmonize, animating tableware both masterfully made and masterfully used. When each works with care and consideration vessels come alive. When the craftsman says a and the cook says um, we at the table are blessed. ...

I can think of no better way to tune into the season than to grasp any break in the weather to walk country paths and gather handfuls of wild edibles just at their prime, knowing that yesterday would have been too soon and tomorrow would be too late....

Nama-nori ties us to the taste of winter, when the cold waters and bright sun raise the best nori while nanohana is a harbinger of spring. When brought together, this inspired dish eloquently expresses the current in-between season...

Ten years ago this week I moved to Japan, into the little house on the hill that Hanako had built for us. We'd wake in the mornings under a mountain of blankets, our breath visible in the frigid air and spar over why the other should be the one to...

There will never be a white Christmas in Mirukashi. If we get snow it comes only in flurries and dustings that don’t stick. But I consider the kaki trees my consolation. Driving the country roads, it seems the hills are dressed for the holidays...

After hours and hours on planes and trains, a taxi dropped us at the foot of our little hill. In the dark we hauled suitcases up the path to our door. I turned the key in the lock and entered, breathing in the familiar aroma of the cypress beams that frame our little Mirukashi home....

From the moment you step onto the damp flagstones in the grand genkan, you feel you are walking away from the strains of reality outside its walls. The beautifully maintained building is over 100 years old. Colorful carp glide through cool water under open walkways. ...

It is said that figs are the sweetest fruit, and that perhaps the fig and not the apple, tempted Eve. It was after all the leaves of a fig tree that she chose for cover. I too would be more tempted by a sultry fig, its thin purple-black skin stretched taught over a teardrop sac...